The creation of the Center for Advanced Technology in Computer Applications and Software Engineering (the CASE Center) at Syracuse University: An examination of founding premises and expected outcomes

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Social Sciences


John Agnew


Sarason, Seymour, New York

Subject Categories

Educational Sociology | Labor Relations


The goals of the study were to assess the applicability to the Center for Advanced Technology at Syracuse University in Computer Applications and Software Engineering (the CASE Center) of a creation-setting orientation to theory and to perceive further directions in the development of the theory, where warranted. Interviews were conducted with sixty-five theoretically-implied CASE Center creation-setters. The interviews were an ordered-focus inquiry into nine themes emphasized in whole or in part by Seymour Sarason and colleagues, the progenitors of and first practitioners in the creation-setting orientation to theory.

The major conclusions of the study are (1) the creation-setting framework appears unique due to its orientation to theory and proves capable of examining in a meaningful and effective fashion the creation-setting instance of the Center for Advanced Technology at Syracuse University, (2) the level of creation-setting consciousness of and shared among CASE Center principals, members, associates, and communities appears low, and this has implications for the Center's viability, (3) application of a creation-setting framework to the case of a Center for Advanced Technology uncovers a need in the framework of such sociological concepts as "institution" and the "institutional design" literature and "paradigm" and the "paradigmatic change" literature, and (4) the next steps in the construction of creation-setting theory involve processes and outcomes akin, if not particular, to those of grounded theory.

Opportunities for more systematically grasping the existence, extent and effect of creation-setting consciousness are understood to abound in this time of global economic and community development. Concomitantly, the need for better understanding this most complex of human endeavors whereby 'two or more people come together in new and sustained relationships for the purpose of attaining stated objectives' abounds, as well.


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